Vaccinate Children. Save Lives.

Vaccines act as a shield, protecting children and newborn babies from dangerous diseases and saving up to 3 million lives each year. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled the largest backslide in vaccinations in three decades. This is putting millions of children worldwide at risk of preventable diseases such as diphtheria, measles and polio.

We must help children catch-up on their missing vaccinations, no matter who they are or where they live. Otherwise, we’ll see more outbreaks, more sick children and greater pressure on already strained health systems.

We can prevent this. Together we must act. Please help.

Update: Polio cases emerging

Polio, a disease that can kill and paralyse young children, is endemic in just Pakistan and Afghanistan. Here at home, the last case of polio in Australia was in 1972, but we can't become complacent. 

Cases are emerging around the world for the first time in decades, due to disruptions to vaccine campaigns during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the Australian Government recently began testing sewage for polio. 

To eliminate polio completely, every child in every household must be vaccinated. But thousands of children are still missing out on the polio vaccine. We must continue the fight against polio.

  • UNICEF helps vaccinate more than 400 million children globally against polio every year. 
  • Our teams support health workers and mobilisers who work tirelessly with local community leaders to reach vaccine hesitant families. 
  • Since 1988, the number of children affected by polio has reduced by 99 per cent. 

Support our vaccination program

Help us protect the world’s most vulnerable children against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Vaccinate Children. Save Lives.

25 million children missed out on vaccines through routine immunisation in 2021. This is 6 million more than in 2019.

A child paralysed from polio in Afghanistan.
Moheb, 16, from Afghanistan has polio which has left him paralysed. Moheb’s father says: “He [was] born healthy, but after one year old he paralysed”.
© UNICEF/UN0399569/Fazel

Decades of progress in vaccination programs are under threat

Children around the world could die from disruptions to vaccination programs caused by the pandemic. Lockdowns, restriction of movement and overwhelmed health systems have all meant that it has been harder than ever for children to receive the vaccinations they need to have the best chance at survival.

The historic backsliding in immunisation rates is happening against a backdrop of rapidly rising rates of severe acute malnutrition (SAM). A malnourished child already has weakened immunity and missing vaccinations can mean preventable childhood illnesses become lethal to them. The convergence of a hunger crisis with a growing immunisation gap threatens to worsen conditions for vulnerable children. 

We need your help to continue this important work and ensure every child is protected from preventable diseases.

You can help protect children today

50%

Each year, UNICEF reaches almost half of the world's children under five with life-saving vaccines.

2-3 m

Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions to date, averting an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year.

"This is a red alert for child health. We are witnessing the largest sustained drop in childhood immunisation in a generation. The consequences will be measured in lives."

Catherine Russell
UNICEF Executive Director

As the largest single vaccine buyer in the world, UNICEF has unique and long-standing expertise in vaccine procurement and logistics to help children in need.

We will find a way to get vaccines to children around the world, but we can't do it without the support of people like you.

Vaccinate Children. Save Lives.

25 million children missed out on vaccines through routine immunisation in 2021. This is 6 million more than in 2019.

Mama Bwanga at a health clinic on the outskirts of Kinshasa, DRC. She had her two youngest children vaccinated against measles as soon as she could so that disease couldn’t claim her children again.
Mama Bwanga at a health clinic on the outskirts of Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She had her two youngest children vaccinated against measles as soon as she could so that disease couldn’t claim her children again.
© UNICEF/UNI308223/Brown

How will my donation help children?

Your generous donation can save lives;

  • $71 could provide 100 children with vaccinations against measles, one of the biggest killers of children under five.
  • $90 could help to provide 300 doses of polio vaccines, to help protect children from this deadly but preventable disease.
  • $180 could protect three health workers with personal protective equipment including gloves, coveralls, masks and boots.  
$1

    How do we use each dollar donated?

  • 82¢
    last year, 82 cents went directly to program expenditure and community education, including long-term development and emergency response work.
  • 12¢
    last year, 12 cents covered the essential costs of raising public awareness and fundraising to generate more support for UNICEF’s work.
  • 6¢
    last year, 6 cents were spent on UNICEF Australia’s accountability and administration.

Your generous gift will help support UNICEF's work for vaccinating children and for all children in need around the world.

A female health worked is giving a droplet vaccine to a young girl.
©UNICEF/UN0219200/

Vaccinate Children. Save Lives.

25 million children missed out on vaccines through routine immunisation in 2021. This is 6 million more than in 2019.